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Katherine Gerdes - journal http://katherinegerdes.com/ Design Portfolio and Journal I design. I bake. I snowboard. <p>When I design it looks like this:<br /> <img src="http://katherinegerdes.com/images/432.jpg" alt="" /><br /> or maybe this:<br /> <img src="http://katherinegerdes.com/images/414.jpg" alt="" /><br /> When I bake it looks like this:<br /> <img src="http://katherinegerdes.com/images/424.jpg" alt="" /><br /> or sometimes this:<br /> <img src="http://katherinegerdes.com/images/426.jpg" alt="" /><br /> Sometimes when I snowboard I teach:<br /> <img src="http://katherinegerdes.com/images/428.jpg" alt="" /><br /> and sometimes I climb to the top of mountains:<br /> <img src="http://katherinegerdes.com/images/430.jpg" alt="" /><br /> … but no matter what, I keep myself busy and I always try to have fun.</p> <p>I am currently keeping myself busy by being pastry chef for <a href="http://hellskitcheninc.com/">Hell’s Kitchen</a> in Minneapolis and by taking on freelance design work. Please feel free to contact me if you are looking for a freelance designer or textile designer, but I’m sorry to say that I’m currently not producing any custom garments. </p> <p>Thanks!<br /> Love, Katy<br /> <img src="http://katherinegerdes.com/images/431.jpg" alt="" /></p> http://katherinegerdes.com/journal/164/I design. I bake. I snowboard. HOPE <p>okay… so this goes without saying, but please go out and vote!<br /> We’re already making history with record breaking voter turn-out and don’t you want to be a part of that?</p> <p>Also, I have never been very political before and have never had that much faith in politicians, but I truly and completely believe in Obama and believe that he can bring America back to the global community and help resolve some of the many problems we’ve encountered over the last 8 years. So please, please consider voting for Obama if you haven’t already!</p> <p>Oh! And check out this super cool poster I now have hanging in my living room! My friend Bennie works for <a href="http://www.burlesquedesign.com">Burlesque of North America</a> and they printed these posters by David Choe:</p> <p><img src="http://katherinegerdes.com/images/421.jpg" title="HOPE!" alt="HOPE!" /></p> http://katherinegerdes.com/journal/163/hope Season 5: Episode 4 “Rings of Glory” <p>Although I’m not sure of the credibility that Apollo Ono has to judge fashion, I really enjoyed this challenge and the runway looks were better than what we’ve been seeing so far this season (well… better made, not very good at fitting the challenge). I always joke that the way to get through Project Runway is to just make a cute dress every time and Nina will like it, so I really enjoy when they present a challenge that a cute dress is <span class="caps">NOT</span> what they want as an end result. I don’t think there’s enough opportunity for the designers to work with sportswear and I like that they crafted a challenge around that. </p> <p>Unfortunately… not many designers embraced the idea of designing athletic sportswear and there weren’t many outfits that could have won. It’s been hard to critique the designs because so many would be decent at other times, but were completely wrong for this specific challenge. Also, as a designer, I understand that red, white and blue isn’t the most trendy or fashionable color palette, but we’re talking about the Olympics here people. If there was ever a time appropriate and trendy for red, white and blue, this is it! </p> <p>On your marks, get set, GO! (Thanks <a href="http://bloggingprojectrunway.blogspot.com/"><span class="caps">BPR</span></a> for the photo montage! Click for larger image.)<a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_jrLT7H4sK60/SJpy4J3zvqI/AAAAAAAAC-k/9b4CL-dA-c8/s1600-h/PollEpisode4Season5.jpg"><img src="http://katherinegerdes.com/images/420.jpg" title="Season 5: Episode 4" alt="Season 5: Episode 4" /></a></p> <p><strong>Blayne:</strong> Blayne’s outfit definitely had a few problems (those pants for one), but conceptually I thought it was one of the few that actually worked in the challenge. Overall it had a young sporty vibe and I could see it easily be translated into a men’s outfit (although maybe not one-shoulder for the boys!). I liked the asymmetrical top and thought the collar was constructed really well, but maybe a long sleeve sweatshirt wasn’t the best choice for summer. I also liked the idea of the racing stripes, but didn’t like that he chose pink and turquoise instead of red and blue. As for the pants, they looked decently constructed, but the styling was way off. Skin-tight white pants are not typically flattering on most people and especially some athletes that would have fairly large thigh muscles. Maybe a pair of white shorts or a sporty skirt would have worked better?</p> <p><strong>Daniel:</strong> I’m sorry to say, but if it had been my decision, Daniel would have been the one going home this week. His design was completely wrong for the challenge (much like many others), but it also didn’t stand very well on it’s own. The red and weird blue/purple color didn’t work together and I think some white contrast in there could have actually helped out a bit (and made it appear a little more sporty). Other than the color, the actual dress is pretty simple and not very flattering. The bodice and neckline make the model appear wider and the contrast band at the waist doesn’t help either. I also think the buttons don’t make any sense on the skirt like that, although I do like the piping detail and think he should have worked with that more to give the skirt more interest.</p> <p><strong>Jennifer (<span class="caps">OUT</span>):</strong> Although I understand that Jennifer’s outfit didn’t fit the challenge at all, I definitely don’t agree with her being out this episode. There were other designers who didn’t fit the challenge and I thought their garments weren’t well made or thought out. Jennifer’s outfit on it’s own is cute with a little bit of retro thrown in there. I really liked the high-waisted gold-striped skirt and the little gold embellishments on the cardigan were a nice touch. Overall it is a bit simple looking, so I guess in the end the judges didn’t see anything new and that’s probably what lost it for her. </p> <p><strong>Jerell:</strong> Okay… so bear with me on this one… if you disregard the challenge, and the hat, and the leggings, then I actually think Jerell’s outfit was cute. I have a couple of friends who would wear that skirt and top (and probably even the neck-kerchief thing) and would totally rock it. From a design point of view, I liked the high-waisted skirt and it’s completely on trend. I also liked how he changed up the direction of the stripes. The shirt is cute too and I really like the little puff sleeves. With all that said, sadly, it was completely and totally inappropriate for the challenge (even more so then Jennifer’s I think) and was also <span class="caps">WAY</span> over styled (why in the world would that skirt need leggings?). I wouldn’t have been surprised if Jerell had gone home on this outfit, but it also happened to be one of the only designs of his that I’ve liked so far.</p> <p><strong>Joe:</strong> I know with many of the other designers I’m saying it’s not sporty enough or not patriotic enough, but with Joe I think he might be the only one who went a little too far on both those themes. This is not to say that he wasn’t one of the strongest this week, but I think his design was a little too overdone and maybe a bit expected. I liked his jacket a lot and the color-blocking details were done really well (and the 2-color zipper was awesome! I have no idea how he did that). The jacket was pretty cute, but the skort is where he lost it for me. I understand what he was trying to do with a skort, but I think either a skirt or shorts would have been better. Even sticking with the skort idea, I think he should have evened out the length of the skirt front and either matched it to the shorts or lengthened the shorts. The way it was on the runway made it look like an apron. That said, I thought the color-blocking on the front was done well, but I would have preferred it without the <span class="caps">USA</span> (and having <span class="caps">USA</span> on the front and back was a little overkill I thought). </p> <p><strong>Keith:</strong> I’m having a hard time looking past the overwhelmingly large scarf on Keith’s outfit. I don’t think it’s a great outfit, but without the scarf I think it would be a lot better. I’m not entirely sure of the look he was going for and the proportions seem a bit strange. I don’t mind the bubble skirt in concept, but the jacket/vest thing seems to be too long and pushing the skirt down. I really like the blue and white stripe fabric he used and would have liked to see more. As for the vest, it’s hard to comment on it because I can’t really see any of it behind that scarf. I think the collar is a nice idea, but could have been scaled down a bit.</p> <p><strong>Kelli:</strong> Kelli’s dress is another one that didn’t fit the challenge in any way (well, I guess it was red, white & blue), but was cute and well constructed on it’s own merit. It’s definitely a retro look, but overall I thought it was well done and I liked the proportions and fit (the big bow doesn’t even bother me much). It’s not something that would fit my style, but if you like to have a retro 50’s feeling, then this is perfect.</p> <p><strong>Kenley:</strong> While this was not my least favorite, I don’t understand how it wasn’t in the bottom. How is Kenley’s dress any more athletic, patriotic or appropriate for the challenge then Daniel’s or even Jennifer’s? It looks like a purpley-blue and white cocktail dress that isn’t particularly well made. I like the fabrication and the colors better than Daniel’s and the button detail is cute, but the whole outfit looked a bit sloppy and wrinkled. I don’t know if this is a construction problem or fit issue, but it looked especially messy in the back. </p> <p><strong>Korto (<span class="caps">WINNER</span>):</strong> I have to say that I was surprised when the judges declared Korto as the winner. I felt like they talked a lot more about the other 2 designs than Korto’s, so I thought she’d be in 3rd place. I can understand why they chose her design for the win, but I’m not sure I’d agree with it. It definitely has a sleek, modern, athletic feel to it, but very few women could pull of a high-waisted, wide-legged trouser, especially in white. I also think the boxy top would have made the athletes look even wider (and some of those women have broad shoulders) and doesn’t flatter the waist. I did like her use of color and thought it had a good patriotic feel without looking like a flag and the construction looked nearly perfect. </p> <p><strong>Leanne:</strong> I liked Leanne’s design a lot and it was one if my favorites on the runway (I might have even put it up in the top 3 instead of Joe or Korto). I thought it looked sporty (with out looking like a sweat suit) and modern, but still had an interesting fashion twist. I liked the collar detail a lot, but I think it might have been a tad more successful if it was a bit smaller. I also liked her simple use of red white and blue, which gives it a patriotic feel without going over board and the detailing on the jacket were simple, but interesting (like the slightly off center buttons). I thought the peplum on the jacket looked cute on the model, but I’m not sure if it would be very flattering for most women. The shorts looked really well made and they are a good length (no shorty shorts!).</p> <p><strong>Stella:</strong> I’ll definitely give Stella credit for sticking to her own style and still somehow working within the challenge. I don’t mind that she used black as a ground color (it was a nice change from all the white), but I’m not so sure about the silver, blood red and black (or was it a navy blue?) for the stripes. It’s all a bit “dark” and for the Olympics we probably want to give a slightly happier feel (maybe this could work for the closing ceremonies if we don’t win much). I thought the pants fit well and the stripes on the waist were a nice touch. The jacket wouldn’t be too bad if she had made it zip all the way down (belly baring is just not attractive on anyone). I like the idea of the stripes on the sleeves, but they look a bit stiff and more like shoulder pads a football player would wear. </p> <p><strong>Suede:</strong> Suede’s outfit was cute and looked well constructed, but the design was inappropriate for the challenge and would have made the athletes look like cheerleaders. Plus, we’ve seen this silhouette from him already in the green challenge. I can’t remember exactly what it looked like, but there was some detailing on the back of the top that I thought was unique and interesting. I also liked that he used blue as a ground color on the skirt instead of white like so many other designers. </p> <p><strong>Terri:</strong> I loved Terri’s outfit and it would have probably been my pick for the win. That jacket alone is SO cool and wearable; I’d love to get my hands on one. The navy and red striped fabric was really interesting, but still low-key enough that it didn’t scream for attention and the buttons were a nice pop of red. I liked the combination of the 3 stripes together and thought that was well done (the key is to choose a mixture of subtle and bold patterns). I even thought the scarf/ascot thing was interesting and cute on the runway and could probably be toned down a bit for real life. The main issue with the top half is the fit on the tube top (was it a tube top?). It looks <span class="caps">WAY</span> too low and too tight. On the runway when the model was standing still and the jacket was able to lay flat it looked fine, but while she was walking it was more open and that’s where it looked not so hot. The white pants were a simple compliment to the top and I liked the one-sided stripe.</p> http://katherinegerdes.com/journal/162/season-5-episode-4-rings-of-glory Goodbye Alex <p>Sadly, our cat Alex passed away this morning after suffering an unknown injury which lead to a heart attack. X-rays showed that he had an abnormally large heart, so I’m going to say he died of too much love. </p> <p>Unfortunately, I am still out of town and was unable to say goodbye, but Joe said he was purring until the end.</p> <p>We love you Alex and will miss you very much. You were the happiest cat we could have asked for.</p> <p>-katy</p> <p><img src="http://katherinegerdes.com/images/419.jpg" title="goodbye Alex. we love you." alt="goodbye Alex. we love you." /></p> <p><a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/katherinegerdes/">View more photos of just how funny Alex was.</a></p> http://katherinegerdes.com/journal/161/goodbye-alex Project Runway Season 5 recaps! <p>I guess I need to start off by apologizing for my very un-speedy timing on these recaps… I just moved and don’t have cable yet (argh!) and on top of that I’m now out East teaching a summer fashion class. The good news is that we have cable here, so after the students go to bed I can steal the TV in the dorms and enjoy!</p> <p>I’ve written my usual recaps for the first 3 episodes and you can find them here:</p> <p><a href="http://katherinegerdes.com/journal/157/season-5-episode-1-lets-start-from-the-beginning">Episode 1: Let’s Start from the Beginning</a></p> <p><a href="http://katherinegerdes.com/journal/158/season-5-episode-2-grass-is-always-greener">Episode 2: Grass is Always Greener</a></p> <p><a href="http://katherinegerdes.com/journal/159/season-5-episode-3-bright-lights-big-city">Episode 3: Bright Lights/Big City</a></p> <p>So… let’s dish… what do you like about the current season? Picked a favorite designer yet (I’m liking Leann & Korto)? Do you like that they went back to more “green” or unpolished designers or do you wish they had stuck with the more experienced “Rami” type designers? Tell me please! :)</p> http://katherinegerdes.com/journal/160/project-runway-season-5-recaps Season 5: Episode 3 “Bright Lights / Big City” <p>I’m glad they final gave creative control to the designers this week! The first few episodes are always hard as a designer because they typically start with a few innovative or team challenges and you don’t feel like you can express what you want to do very well. I think it finally showed this week in the quality of designs as well… there were definitely a lot more that I liked this week than the last 2 episodes! I also like that they brought back the season 2 <span class="caps">NYC</span> photo inspiration challenge (although with the “night-out” twist). It can be hard to come up with new designs on the show because they literally take away anything from you that could be used as inspiration and sometimes you’re really drawing a blank (sleep depravation plays a part in that too!), so anything for inspiration can be a big help!</p> <p>Let’s give it a go… (Thanks <a href="http://bloggingprojectrunway.blogspot.com/"><span class="caps">BPR</span></a> for the photo montage! Click for larger image.):<a href="http://bp3.blogger.com/_N2GwfFRCkGA/SJEhxliC23I/AAAAAAAAB9c/Y9zDlTPkCT4/s1600-h/PollEpisode3Season5.jpg"><img src="http://katherinegerdes.com/images/418.jpg" title="Season 5: Episode 3" alt="Season 5: Episode 3" /></a></p> <p><strong>Blayne:</strong> Once again, I’m not terribly into the bright neon colors and the 80’s feel, but I don’t have many problems with Blayne’s dress this week… although I can’t say I love it either. I thought the rainbow effect was interesting in the way the colors seemed to grow from the beginning to the end and I liked how they intertwined and wrapped so it didn’t seem so stuck on (like Emily’s ruffle). I liked the low back and even liked that he added sleeves to the dress (it’s really hard to find dresses with sleeves that don’t look like you should be 60 years old!), but I thought the rainbow ruffles stopped a little abruptly on the side/back and could have been thought out a bit better. </p> <p><strong>Daniel:</strong> I thought Daniel did a pretty good job this week and made an elegant cocktail dress for a night out in <span class="caps">NYC</span>. I really liked the greenish/metallic color he used and thought that was a nice alternative to gold or silver. The black accents on the bust and waist are also nice to tone it done just a hair. This type of dress is more what I had been expecting for the 2nd “make a cocktail dress” challenge… something that is a bit classic, but still young and flirty (I feel like the designers are equating “cocktail” dress with “slutty” dress this season?). I liked the exaggerated pleating and flounce on the hip and thought that was a nice mirror to the asymmetrical shoulder. There are a few construction issues, but overall I thought he did a good job. </p> <p><strong>Emily (<span class="caps">OUT</span>):</strong> I’m having a hard time deciding if I think Emily should have been out… I definitely get where the judges were coming from and I’m not a fan of her dress, but I’m undecided about if it was the worst. I think the concept behind her dress could have worked and she definitely drew from her inspiration photo, but I don’t understand the placement of the ruffles at all! It just doesn’t make sense to throw the ruffles right across the bust and then straight down and stopping it in the middle. Maybe had the ruffles started on her shoulder and wrapped around they would have looked more worked into the dress instead of just sitting on top. I did however like the fire-y pink and orange colors she used for the ruffles. I also think the black dress underneath is a bit too simple and could have used a more interesting shape (like Blayne did with his). And last but not least, I didn’t like the pink trim she used on the edges at all. I think the dress looked a lot more elegant in the workroom before she added that. </p> <p><strong>Jennifer:</strong> I think Jennifer’s inspiration and initial design idea had potential, but it all ended up so dowdy looking and the fabric she used is difficult to work with and can easily look messy if you’re not careful. I liked the clock inspiration and the navy with cream could have been really elegant for a night out. Even the actual design could have been really cute, but overall I think the proportions are pretty off and that’s what landed her in the “matronly” category. I’m all for a empire waist and think they can be really cute, but I think she could have made it a bit younger if the neckline wasn’t so high and maybe added some little cap sleeves instead of below the elbow. I like the tiered skirt, but would have liked to see a little more thought put into the layers and obviously the hems had some issues.</p> <p><strong>Jerell:</strong> I’m kind of indifferent about Jerell’s dress. I think it was nicely constructed and fits really well. I also like the tonal greens (I’m a sucker for olive green!), but I didn’t get the connection between his inspiration and final design? I also think it’s a bit too much of a ball gown for a “night out” in <span class="caps">NYC</span>. At least when I think of a night out it’s not to such a formal event. If he had stopped with the ruffles maybe half way down or made it more cocktail length then it might have worked better.</p> <p><strong>Joe:</strong> I think what I liked best about Joe’s was how closely he was able to match his fabric and design to his inspiration (although I suppose you could say it was a little too literal). The graphic detail on the bodice was nice, but I wish the whole top was smooth and graphic instead of the bust being gathered which makes it look a bit messy. I also wish the skirt had a bit more interest (and no, tulle stuck on the butt is not more interesting). Maybe he could have mimicked the graphic lines of the lamp into the skirt as well, but keep it black on black or tonal for a more subtle effect than the top? </p> <p><strong>Keith:</strong> Keith’s dress had a lot of potential with the original inspiration and it even had potential in how he was constructing it, but I agree with Tim and the judges about the lack of shape (although his model did drop out, so we can give him slack on that). I think if the dress had been a bit more fitted it would have looked better and not as much like a bag. I do like the idea of using the various printed fabrics to mimic the magazines and I like the prints he used, but I really wish he hadn’t added the plain white fabric in there. I think that’s the part that threw the judges and probably the part that MK was making the toilet paper comment on. I have to disagree with Nina on them sloppy hem comment, not all hems go straight across and with a design like this, I actually think the hem works like that.</p> <p><strong>Kelli:</strong> Kelli’s garment looked a bit too busy up top and didn’t seem to come from her inspiration at all. I think the open, graphic fabric she used on top is interesting (anyone know what it is?), but the fringe at the sleeves gives it a messy feel (I like how clean it feels at the neckline for example). I’m also not entirely sure the bodice underneath the top is working very well. The halter shape is distracting from the top fabric and I think it would have been better had she stuck with a simple strapless shape underneath. I also like the silvery brown colors mixed with the black and the simple skirt is a good compliment to the top, which is the focus of the outfit.</p> <p><strong>Kenley (<span class="caps">WINNER</span>):</strong> Although I think the judges should have given the win to Leanne (as you might be able to tell below), I can certainly see why they loved Kenley’s dress. The dress was fresh and modern with a nod to the past (Are the 80’s really vintage now? That makes me feel old!) and it looked perfectly constructed. I had no idea where she was going with the tulle skirt, but I’m really impressed with how she molded it and the shape it creates. If you’ve ever worked with tulle, you know that it’s really difficult and annoying to deal with (pinning tulle barely works because of all the holes!). I’m not a fan of the print on the fabric, but I can see the connection to her inspiration photo. The only criticism I have is that it immediately reminded me of the spring ’08 Balenciaga collection (visit style.com for a look) and as a designer you really don’t want your clothes to be that easily associated with another designer. I’m <span class="caps">NOT</span> saying that she copied or was even thinking about the spring shows, but just pointing out that it’s similar to what was out there at the time. </p> <p><strong>Korto:</strong> Korto’s outfit is really hard to comment on because it’s all in black and the photos don’t show the details. I like the silhouette she created at the top and love the wide leg pants. I also don’t mind that it was all in black (something people in <span class="caps">NYC</span> are pretty famous for wearing all the time), but I would have liked to see a little accent somewhere either in a pop color or maybe a metallic. If I remember correctly, there was some kind of pleating or gathering on the collar part? Other than that I don’t remember any of the details and it’s impossible to see them in the photo. </p> <p><strong>Leanne:</strong> I love, love, loved Leanne’s outfit! I know as a designer that I really love something when I’m jealous that I didn’t design it! There really isn’t anything about Leanne’s outfit that I would change. I loved that she stuck with her fabric circle idea that almost got her kicked off last week and proved that she could make it into something amazing. The tonal colors on the skirt are subtle, but really interesting and give it a very chic look and I love the simple, but modern top. The styling is also dead on with the chunky gold necklace and clean hair. I also think that her design was by far the most “night out in New York.” I guess it’s not surprising if I say I think Leanne should have won this challenge right? </p> <p><strong>Stella:</strong> Although definitely not the worst, I wasn’t terribly impressed with Stella’s outfit. I think the fit and construction looked pretty good (although the pants were a wee-bit tight if it’s giving the model love handles!). I also liked the color palette she went for with the silvery grays and metallics. The problem is that there wasn’t anything new or interesting about the outfit and putting lacing on everything can be kind of tacky. I get that it’s Stella’s style and she wants to stick with it, but I’m hoping she can break out and show us something different.</p> <p><strong>Suede:</strong> As with Jerell’s, I’m also a bit indifferent to Suede’s outfit this week. It looks like a nice little shirt-dress with some embellishments and a belt. The color is a bit drab and would be difficult for many people to wear, but it works well on his model’s skin tone (I think that color can work well on either the very pale skinned or darker tones, but not much in between). Overall I just don’t have much to say since it’s fairly safe and simple.</p> <p><strong>Terri:</strong> I liked Terri’s outfit this week, although I don’t think I liked it as much as the judges seemed to. I think the dress-over-pants look can be cute if done right and this outfit worked well. The sheerness of the dress lightened up the look even though it was long sleeved and gathered and the slim pants kept the models figure visible, even though she was totally covered. The open back was nice, but the sleeves were a bit too busy at the ends for my taste. I also didn’t really get how her inspiration was translated into the design… but I liked the fabric and thought it almost had a Monet feeling too it (perfect for the Art Museum challenge!). </p> http://katherinegerdes.com/journal/159/season-5-episode-3-bright-lights-big-city Season 5: Episode 2 “Grass is Always Greener” <p>I have to say that I was pretty disappointed with this episode… I was really excited for a “green” themed challenge (especially since I switched to organic/sustainable fabric this year), but the eco-friendly aspect seemed like an afterthought and they didn’t really talk about what kinds of fabric can be green and what the benefits of using them are or how you can help (like maybe suggest some green clothing lines?). And while I like the twist of making the models shop for fabrics (I like it as a viewer, would have hated it as a designer!), I think the designers should have been able to consult with the models first, because then that leaves more responsibility to the designers and they can’t use the excuse that they didn’t have a say in fabric and the models didn’t buy enough. And lastly, I was also pretty disappointed in the overall quality of designs on the runway. There were a few nice ones (Terri’s was my favorite and I also liked Kendal’s & Jennifer’s), but other than that there could have been a lot more in the bottom group than just 3. Almost everything was tight and short and those are not elements that are required in a cocktail dress.</p> <p>With all that said, I feel like writing this recap was pretty difficult since I typically try to look at the positive and be nice, but this week’s might be a little harsh. Sorry!</p> <p>Let’s get into it, shall we? (Thanks <a href="http://bloggingprojectrunway.blogspot.com/"><span class="caps">BPR</span></a> for the photo montage! Click for larger image.):<a href="http://bp2.blogger.com/_N2GwfFRCkGA/SIfm_BxpbWI/AAAAAAAAB8A/OQ_XfvSJCOw/s1600-h/PollEpisode2Season5.jpg"><img src="http://katherinegerdes.com/images/417.jpg" title="Season 5: Episode 2" alt="Season 5: Episode 2" /></a></p> <p><strong>Blayne:</strong> I’m not terribly into neon colors or 80’s style, but I actually liked Blayne’s dress this week. I’m glad that he used on of the bright colors and I liked the color blocking on the side (simple and in your face, but adds some interest). The overall shape was fairly simple, but the asymmetrical collar/sleeve added interest.</p> <p><strong>Daniel:</strong> First of all, I was really surprised that there were only a couple of models that picked black fabric. Obviously the <span class="caps">LBD</span> is a classic, so I thought more models would go in that direction (instead of the ugly gold or brown fabric that so many picked). Anyways, on to Daniel’s… The overall concept and shape of Daniel’s dress was cute, but some of the proportions and construction were off. My main concern is where the waistline of the dress is hitting. It needs to move up or down a little, because where it’s sitting makes the bodice look too large. I liked the cap straps though and the way the skirt was longer in the back was cute. </p> <p><strong>Emily:</strong> On the dress form, I liked how Emily’s design was turning out, but once it was on the model it didn’t look very good. I think this is a case of a good dress on the wrong girl. The braiding detail on the bodice was interesting and I liked how it carried into the open back. The overall shape was cute, but it looked <span class="caps">WAY</span> too small on her model; the skirt was too short and the bodice was either too small or didn’t sit right and pulled her down.</p> <p><strong>Jerell:</strong> I don’t know how to put this gently, but I really didn’t like Jerell’s dress at all. It looked cheap and all the embellishments he added looked tacky. Also, the fit on the top was really off (her chest looked like it sits in her armpits). I think this is another case of a designer not realizing when to step back and edit. The gray blue color isn’t awful, but I don’t like how it works with the contrast blue panel and all the other elements.</p> <p><strong>Jennifer:</strong> I really liked Jennifer’s dress and it would have been in my top 3 for the week. I liked that she took the chance and used jersey fabric and I loved the color blocking. While orange and gray might not be typical “cocktail” dress colors, I thought they looked chic and modern. I also really liked that when almost every other designer made something tight and short, Jennifer’s dress flowed really well and gave us some movement. I think the top could have been fit better and I’m not sure about the proportions of the straps, but overall I really liked her design.</p> <p><strong>Joe:</strong> Although I think Joe’s dress is a bit boring, I’ll give him credit for working with a difficult fabric well. Obviously the bottom 2 designers had the same fabric and their main problem was overworking it, so Joe was probably pretty smart to stick with a simple shape. I can’t say I’m a fan of the hole in the center, but I imagine some people might like it. </p> <p><strong>Keith:</strong> From the bodice up I thought Keith’s dress was nice, a bit simple, but made well and fitted well. I did not like the skirt at all… it looked like some cheap drapery and the gathers on the front were hitting at the worst place (they make her thighs look wider and make the skirt appear really short). </p> <p><strong>Kelli:</strong> I’m not really sure where Kelli was going with her design this week. The various details seemed disjointed and I thought it could have used a lot of editing in the back (although I did like the open back). The turquoise & green bodice looked a bit sloppy. I thought Kelli did such a good job last week that I was pretty disappointed in this design. I’m not sure how much of the jersey fabric (turquoise fabric was jersey right?) she had, but I would have loved to see something out of that instead of another dress out of the gold silk.</p> <p><strong>Kenley:</strong> Although I liked Terri’s a little bit better (more on that below), I think out of the judges top 3, Kenley’s dress was hands down the winner and I can’t believe Suede won over her dress. The overall fit was really good and she did a great job with the construction on such a difficult fabric. The collar is a dramatic, yet not too over-the-top for a cocktail dress. The textured belt also adds a nice touch and breaks up all the gold color.</p> <p><strong>Korto:</strong> Like many (I’m guessing), I was really disappointed with Korto’s design this week. After last week I had declared her my favorite and then jokingly said “that means she’ll go home next week.” I was relieved when that didn’t happen, but if it had, I couldn’t fight the judges’ decision much. Overall the dress looked sloppy and the concept of the inside out darts could have been cool, but didn’t work at all (I think they were too large, maybe if they had been more like pin tucks it would have worked better). And of course, the “hip fins” didn’t work at all and made his model look much wider than she really is.</p> <p><strong>Leanne:</strong> Like the judges said, I think Leanne suffered from having too many ideas and not editing at all. Her top with the loops of fabric and asymmetrical styling could have worked with a simpler skirt/bottom. I’m a fan of pockets in dresses (most of the time), but I thought these were in an awkward place and distracted from the top of the dress. Even with all the details and ideas, Leanne did a good job not overworking the fabric, so the construction looked much better than Wesley’s.</p> <p><strong>Stella:</strong> The judges definitely threw me with their choices this week… I would have lost money if you had bet me that Stella’s dress would be in the top 3. How does Nina’s comment to Wesley about “Shiny, tight & short” being cheap <span class="caps">NOT</span> apply to Stella’s dress as well (and a few others)? The lacing up the side also seems a bit tacky and the overall shape is nothing new or interesting. On the plus side it looks like Stella did a good job with the construction. I don’t think it should have been in the bottom, but I definitely don’t think it should have been in the top.</p> <p><strong>Suede (<span class="caps">WINNER</span>):</strong> Suede’s is another dress that I just don’t understand how it got in the top 3, let alone was the winner. I agree with the judges that he obviously put a lot of work and creativity into creating a “new” fabric out of the options he was given, but I can’t help thinking that if Natalie Portman wore this on the red carpet she would definitely end up on a worst dress list somewhere. I do like the dropped waist silhouette, but with the tulle skirt, it looks too much like a ballet or figure skating costume.</p> <p><strong>Terri:</strong> I cannot believe that Terri wasn’t in the top 3! Her dress is by far my favorite in this challenge and I think she should have won. The dress is elegant and sophisticated, but still had the young flirty collar detail and the contrasting belt. I think Terri’s and Kenley’s dresses are somewhat similar in shape/style, but Terri’s is more wearable both in the styling and fabrication. I’m still in shock that she wasn’t at least in the top 3 over Suede and Stella.</p> <p><strong>Wesley (<span class="caps">OUT</span>):</strong> Poor Wesley… I have to agree with the judges on this one. The dress was overworked & poor fitting. I’ll definitely give him the point that the brown satin was probably the worst fabric to work with, but sometimes you have to work with what you’re given and it seemed that he knew the fabric would work better in a more simple design. Sadly, I think this is one of those times on PR when a talented designer goes home too early because of a bad decision. </p> http://katherinegerdes.com/journal/158/season-5-episode-2-grass-is-always-greener Season 5: Episode 1 “Let’s Start From the Beginning” <p>Project Runway is back and I’m excited! I wasn’t sure what to think when they re-did the same challenge from the first season, but considering that the grocery store challenge was one of my favorites, I think I’m okay with it. </p> <p>I’m also really excited that they have gone back to a larger mix of contestants (and their abilities). It was a little disappointing in the last few seasons when PR didn’t want to cast any younger or more inexperienced designers. Sure, the designs where probably better executed and consistently good, but that lost the fun of seeing what some of the crazy designers or bright-eyed, just-out-of-school designers would create. </p> <p>That said, I was a little disappointed in the lack of “innovation” for this episode. I think there were some amazing ideas and designs (more on that below), but it was also disappointing to see so many people resort to fabric like materials. Oh well… I’ll give them a break since the first challenge is always hard and you’re so shell shocked that it’s real you don’t know what to do (It probably took me the first hour of our first episode to remember how to sew… seriously).</p> (ps… once again here’s my little “disclaimer”… I don’t know anything about the new show, or any “behind the scenes” details and I’ve never met any of the new designers. I know as much about this season as you guys do, so my opinions are based purely on what I see on Wednesday nights. Please feel free to disagree with me, but as the season goes along, know that I’m not trying to pick on your favorite designer or dislike their designs based on the designers’ personalities.) <p>Here we go for another round! (Thanks <a href="http://bloggingprojectrunway.blogspot.com/"><span class="caps">BPR</span></a> for the photo montage! Click for larger image.):<a href="http://bp0.blogger.com/_N2GwfFRCkGA/SH628iR-URI/AAAAAAAAB5c/i_HionL0ez4/s1600-h/PollEpisode1Season5.jpg"><img src="http://katherinegerdes.com/images/416.jpg" title="Season 5: Episode 1" alt="Season 5: Episode 1" /></a></p> <p><strong>Kenley:</strong> The more I look at Kenley’s design; the more I realize how much I like it. When I first saw the runway, I didn’t think much about it, but it’s definitely made it into my top 5 now. I really like how she used the lawn chairs for a graphic element and for a unique (but totally wearable) skirt shape. The dodge ball bodice is also pretty cool and I can’t even begin to imagine how hard that must have been to sew or work with. Overall Kenley’s dress had a retro feeling, but looked modern and although there were other designs I liked more, I think she did the best job in representing her style and point of view in this dress. </p> <p><strong>Terri:</strong> I thought Terri did a really impressive job turning mop heads into a cable knit halter. I really thought they were giving her the “loser edit” in the beginning when they showed her picking mop heads and so therefore I was pleasantly surprised in the end. The braided detailing on the top was cool and I loved the design in the back (speaking of which… I really wished Bravo would provide back views of all the designs!). The skirt wasn’t very impressive, but the top totally made up for that.</p> <p><strong>Suede:</strong> I’m not really sure what to say about Suede’s dress… I hate to be mean, but this was a close contender for the bottom in my mind (although I don’t know who I would pick for him to replace down there). Even with the detailing he added on later, it still just looks like a tablecloth wrapped around his model. </p> <p><strong>Emily:</strong> I like Emily’s use of materials and colors in her collar, but I wish she had held back just a bit on the design. I think the collar would have been more successful if it had stopped just above the super balls. I know this challenge isn’t about being wearable, but I think a little more toned done and the collar would have been really cool and might have worked better with the dress (which is a little boring, but it makes sense with the dramatic collar to have a simple dress). </p> <p><strong>Leanne:</strong> Leanne’s design was a little too busy for my taste. I liked her idea of using bon bons, but they almost looked more like an afterthought and just stuck on there instead of really worked into the design. I like how she made the coffee filters cascade out of the pleats, but I’m not sure if the placement was the most flattering (it really seemed to add a lot of weight to the hips). </p> <p><strong>Jennifer:</strong> Jennifer’s dress was very cute and looked almost perfectly made! I would have been nervous to make something out of paper towels since they tear so easily, but she did a good job. The only thing I didn’t like at all were the stuck on lipstick pieces. The concept was kind of cute, but I wish she had put them on the real garment instead of tacking them on. </p> <p><strong>Jerell:</strong> Overall I thought Jerell did a pretty good job. I like the bold, graphic feel of the bodice and it looks really well fitted (especially for lawn chairs). The koosh ball sleeve is also pretty cool (my mom owned some toy stores while I was growing up and those were my favorites!) and I really want to know how he did that without it falling apart? Along with Korto, I thought Jerell was one of the more successful tablecloth designers and I liked how he layered and used the lace effect. I think the umbrellas clutter the design a bit, but maybe the edge of the lawn chairs was really hard to finish well so he needed something to cover it up?</p> <p><strong>Keith:</strong> Keith’s dress had a nice shape and looked well constructed, but the problem is that it’s nearly impossible to hide the tablecloth factor. I liked how he used the netting to create more texture and depth to the “fabric” and the belt is a nice touch. </p> <p><strong>Wesley:</strong> I thought Wesley did a nice job creating a sleek little cocktail dress. The color is really cute and I’m impressed that he was able to find so many materials that matched perfectly! The strap detailing with the layered plastic pieces (fly swatters?) is really cool and the glossy sheen almost gives it a bejeweled feeling. I also think Wesley did one of the best jobs with overall styling of his model and the little gloves were really cute! I agree with the top 3, but I would probably put Wesley in the #4 spot. </p> <p><strong>Joe:</strong> Joe’s design turned out better than I expected. I really love the top made out of oven mitts (although I’m not a huge fan of belly baring tops) and it’s cool that he tried to make a patterned skirt out of the pasta. Although I liked the pasta pattern, it’s a little disappointing when designers resort to gluing innovative materials to muslin (and Joe’s not the only one) instead of figuring out how to work with them in a more creative way.</p> <p><strong>Korto:</strong> Korto’s was my favorite design for this challenge. I totally understand why they gave Kelli the win since she beat everyone on being innovative, but for overall design I absolutely loved Korto’s kimono gown. Although she used a tablecloth, I think she was one of the only designers who was successful in transforming it to look high-end and elegant. If I looked at the photo and didn’t know the context of the challenge there’s no way I would guess that it was a tablecloth. I also really loved that she took Tim’s advice to heart and figured out a way to make it more innovative by adding the produce. At this point in the season (although that isn’t saying much), I think Korto is my favorite.</p> <p><strong>Daniel:</strong> I think Daniel definitely deserved to be in the top 3… while the overall shape of the dress wasn’t very innovative or interesting, I give him full credit for working with a really hard material. I’m not sure I would have ever thought about ironing plastic cups to make them moldable and I love that he actually had a pattern and a plan for laying out the cups on the dress (instead of just slapping them on in no particular order). I also really liked that he used the white edge as piping to give the bodice a graphic detail. </p> <p><strong>Blayne:</strong> This is where it gets hard for me… I really don’t know what to say about Blayne’s design. Sometimes there are bad designs and I try to find a nice way to say mean things. Sometimes there are good designs and I can’t think of anything to say other than “I love it!” This time… I just don’t know. I definitely don’t think it was the worst design and it least it showed that Blayne is creative and takes risks (definitely a plus in the Project Runway world). The weird white thing on the front doesn’t make any sense to me, but if that wasn’t there, then it could have been a unique swimsuit design (I do like the sculptural element at the top). </p> <p><strong>Jerry (<span class="caps">OUT</span>):</strong> I go back and forth on who should have been eliminated for this challenge. I agree with the bottom 2 designers, but I can’t decide who should have gone home… I’ll give Jerry credit that his design was probably more complicated to construct and had more thought into it, but on the other hand, there really wasn’t anything that looked good in the outfit. Most of the people I watched the show with were saying it looked like something a serial killer would wear and then they all cracked up when one of the judges said the same thing (MK maybe?). I usually try to find the positive things about each design, but this one is proving difficult (and I’m sorry to say that). </p> <p><strong>Kelli (<span class="caps">WINNER</span>):</strong> Like I said above, I completely understand why the judges gave Kelli the win. She was by far the most innovative of the designers (hook and eyes from a notebook!) and I loved the textile treatment she created on the vacuum bags. Once again, just by looking at the photo, I wouldn’t be able to tell that her dress wasn’t out of fabric (and a gorgeous fabric at that!). I also really liked the studded detail around the waist and thought it was a nice touch to bring in some of Kelli’s design personality. The only part I wasn’t terrible fond of was the bodice on her dress. Although I really appreciate how she tried to make the coffee filters into lace, it almost looks like they were an afterthought or just stuck on there. Overall though, the rest of the dress was so pretty and innovative that it’s easy to overlook the bodice.</p> <p><strong>Stella:</strong> Back to the Stella or Jerry debate… I still can’t decide who I think should have gone home! While I think Jerry put more thought and work into his design, I think Stella did a better job showing us her point of view as a designer. Looking at both designs, I can tell what type of clothing Stella likes to create, but I can’t with Jerry’s. And although Stella’s dress definitely looks like a trash bag, I think the actual shape/design of the dress could have worked in another fabrication. Still though, I liked that Jerry put more effort into the challenge, where Stella seemed to almost give up right away… and with that, I think I’m giving up on trying to decide!</p> http://katherinegerdes.com/journal/157/season-5-episode-1-lets-start-from-the-beginning Last Chance to VOTE! <p><b>The deadline for the <a href="http://myitthings.com/itdesigner">MyItThings</a> designer contest is <span class="caps">TOMORROW</span>!!! Please vote if you haven’t already!</b></p> <p>Here’s the details:</p> <p>I’ve entered this fashion design contest online and need as many votes as possible! It’s an online contest where designers can submit photos and people vote on their favorite. The top 25 designers at the end (which is this Tues, July 15th!) will be narrowed down by a panel of judges to 3 designers who will get to compete in a <span class="caps">NYC</span> runway show.</p> <p>One of the judges is our very own Malan from Project Runway, so I have a good feeling if I get in the top 25 “user” picks, then I have a good shot at being in the top 3.</p> <p>The problem is, it seems to be more of a popularity contest and not design contest at the moment, so I need all the votes I can get (plus I entered pretty late!). </p> <p>Here’s the link to the contest:<br /> <a href="http://myitthings.com/itdesigner">http://myitthings.com/itdesigner</a></p> <p>Here’s the link to “how to vote” (scroll down a bit):<br /> <a href="http://myitthings.com/ItDesigner/About/">http://myitthings.com/ItDesigner/About/</a> </p> <p>Here’s the link to my page:<br /> <a href="http://myitthings.com/katherinegerdes/">http://myitthings.com/katherinegerdes/</a></p> <p><img src="http://katherinegerdes.com/images/414.jpg" title="hooded braided jersey gown" alt="hooded braided jersey gown" /></p> http://katherinegerdes.com/journal/156/last-chance-to-vote Vote for me! (please!) <p><em>* <span class="caps">UPDATE</span>! * Thanks to those who have voted already… I’ve moved up into the top 50 (some people have been getting votes for a month already, so I’ve got to catch up!). Now I just need to break into the top 10 for the finals!</em></p> <p>I don’t know much about it, but I just entered a design contest on <a href="http://myitthings.com/itdesigner">MyItThings.com</a></p> <p>You could call this my version of procrastinating on a project I don’t want to start… </p> <p>Anyways. Please vote for me! I believe the top 10 user picked designers are then in a contest to have their own runway show. There is a panel of judges for the top 10 and who else but Malan is one of them! </p> <p>Here’s one of my all time favorite designs that I submitted as one of my 5 for the contest:</p> <p><img src="http://katherinegerdes.com/images/414.jpg" title="hooded braided jersey gown" alt="hooded braided jersey gown" /></p> http://katherinegerdes.com/journal/155/vote-for-me-please Fashion Design SCAM! <p>I got this email (below) a few days ago and wanted to make sure all fashion designers are aware of this <span class="caps">SCAM</span>. After some research, it sounds like this has gone around to photographers and then models and now they are targeting fashion designers. I thought it sounded to good to be true, but wrote back with some questions just in case it was legitimate. After I still couldn’t get any specific details on the job, I did some deeper digging and found out about the scam…</p> <p>What’s that saying? If it sounds too good to be true, then it probably is?</p> <p>Please make sure any fashion designers, models and photographers you know are aware of this!<br /> ___________________________________________________<br /> <em>Hello ,</p> <p>Thanks for your interest to take up this Job, your profile Matched most of the criterias as stated by the Company which was why you were contacted.<br /> This Job is being organized by <span class="caps">BOZIMO</span> <span class="caps">LINDS</span> <span class="caps">DESIGNS</span> a new clothing designs that will be launched come July 2008.<br /> You will be required to bring in your Wealth of International ideas to add to the Launch of the clothing design, you will be involved in the making of Casual wears, official Attires, Evening wears for Men, Women,and Children.</p> <p>Like you rightly know, this contract is for 3 weeks and all your travelling expenses and accommodation will be totally taken care of by the company. The entire contract sum for this contract is 40,000 Pounds and you will be paid a daily allowance of 120 Pounds. All the materials needed are already in place so all we require is your presence and if possible an Assistant.</p> <p><span class="caps">REQUIREMENTS</span>:<br /> All you need to make this Job a reality is a <span class="caps">VALID</span> <span class="caps">PASSPORT</span> <span class="caps">AND</span> A UK <span class="caps">WORK</span> <span class="caps">PERMIT</span> (Obtainable from the Home Office here in the UK).<br /> You will be paid a 50% upfront payment of 20,000 Pounds after you might have secured your UK <span class="caps">WORK</span> <span class="caps">PERMIT</span>.</p> <p>One important thing you must note in this Job is that it comes up 9th July 2008 as this idea of employing Foreign Fashion Designers was a very late one and we at about now in the last lap of events before the launch, so I employ you to kindly clear up any likely conflicting schedules.</p> Get back to me in good time if you require any additional info. <p>Regards,</p> <p>Princewill Johnson.</p> <p>009447045716167. (Phone).<br /> http://bozimo-linds-designs.4t.com</em></p> http://katherinegerdes.com/journal/154/fashion-design-scam Guest blogger for Star Tribune <p>Sara couldn’t make it to Ra’mon-lawrence’s big fashion show “Eluded Love” this weekend, so I got to be the guest blogger for the Star Tribune. </p> <p>Check out my review and some photos from the event <a href="http://ww3.startribune.com/blogs/stylepoints/">here on Sara Glassman’s Stylepoints blog!</a></p> <p>As I say in my review, Ra’mon is a master at <span class="caps">DRAMA</span>. Here’s another example of his skills combining fashion design and flair (I’m not entirely sure, but I think those women in the front row got a really up-close and personal view of the dress)!</p> <p><img src="http://katherinegerdes.com/images/412.jpg" title="Eluded Love " alt="Eluded Love " /><br /> <img src="http://katherinegerdes.com/images/413.jpg" title="Eluded Love" alt="Eluded Love" /></p> http://katherinegerdes.com/journal/153/guest-blogger-for-star-tribune